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R&H: Pro Soprano 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:41 am
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Post R&H: Pro Soprano
So I have been preparing for an audition for South Pacific and I have been looking at other R&H songs for my audition and I came to this discovery:

R&H really liked sopranos!! I mean, correct me if I am wrong, but nearly all of the leads in their shows are Sopranos! Even their Mezzo roles don't go very low and sing a lot in the higher range. Nellie in South Pacific is one of the only true Mezzo roles in their shows. (Which is probably because they wrote it with Mary Martin in mind, who is a mezzo, if I'm correct)

Anyway, it's not fair. Us poor mezzo's. :cry: :wink:

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Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:51 pm
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner
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True, but the majority of female leads in more contemporary shows (meaning, pretty much anything after 1970) are mezzos. So I think it all evens out, right?

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Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:31 pm
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Supporting Player
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yes, almost all of r&h's leads are sopranos! but yes, newer shows have gone toward a beltier style.


Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:26 pm
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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Post A Range of Voices
In the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals (and particularly their earlier collaborations), the influence of operetta on the "musical play" is so clear, and that accounts partly for the presence of soprano heroines like Laurey and Julie, "baritenor" heroes like Curly and Billy and supporting soubrettes like Ado Annie and Carrie. As time went by, things shifted for various reasons - sometimes to accomodate star casting, sometimes because the dramatic demands were different, sometimes a combination of these - but the key to why the role division displayed similar vocal characteristics is in the roots of the form in operetta, to which Hammertstein, in particular, was no stranger.

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Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:55 am
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:33 am
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Post 
Nellie Forbush isn't the only mezzo lead in R&H. Isn't Anna in K&I a mezzo? (I could be wrong, I don't know the show well.) Also, Linda Low in Flower Drum Song is another mezzo role with a good lower register (comparable to Nellie in terms of range). Cinderella is a mezzo, as is Margie in State Fair. Even Maria in SOM, although often played by sopranos today, was originally written for Mary Martin, who was indeed a mezzo. It's really only Laurie and Julie that HAVE to be taken by high sopranos.


Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:58 am
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